An Intimate Collision: Encounters with Life and Jesus by Craig D. Lounsbrough
This new book, An Intimate Collision, by Craig Lounsbrough is a trek into the very real collisions we face in a most intimate way in life, with God at the helm. The format of each chapter provides a glimpse into an intimate collision with life and with the author that carries forth into the theme of his description of a biblical theme or narrative. What is immediate as you read through this book is the intersection between the life of faith and the Scripture that we have. Weaving together the events of the Bible, including the life and death of Jesus with a keen eye toward personal collisions, Craig is able to keep the reader’s attention and bring him closer into the story that the Bible provides. This is really a gem of a book and one not to be missed.
In the second chapter, Craig encounters a young six year old boy who has been ravaged by spina bifida. His appendages do not work the way they should but he is nevertheless striving to run across the parking lot (31-33). In seeing his handicaps, Craig points the way forward to his own ones. He writes, “My handicaps are just as inhibiting, but they are hidden. However, they are just as devastating as his.” (34) Right smack dab into the middle of handicaps comes Jesus, ministering where the devastated lay their heads. Craig writes, “He pulled a tattered garment over an exposed shoulder, ran gentle fingers down a twisted trunk, and then tenderly cupped an atrophied head in a broad hand. Forcing this intimate collision of man and God, He directed His stare into the man’s weary eyes and forcefully voiced the greatest question ever…the only question…”Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)(38-39). The collision here is one which no other human would be willing to engage in much less come near. For Jesus, he knew the ridicule and the voices of the onlookers as he healed many with diseases and ailments. Craig points out often we invite God on a path to show himself to us on our schedule, missing the point that God works in ways and times that we don’t understand.
The beautiful story in chapter 9 of a transient stooping down to give Craig’s dog Aspen a hug is a reminder that it is often the little glimpses of love that people need who are outcasts in society. Craig brings home the point about the disdain we feel about those people around us who don’t meet our standards by writing, “I willingly observe people such as these, but from a distance, detached and somehow better…I judge every one of them on nauseatingly false premises…” (148) We are not willing to enter into the life of another person because our pride keeps from engaging those whom the culture and our hearts deem unworthy. Yet, as Craig points us too, the ministry of Jesus was constantly in the halls of the fallen, broken, and crushed spirits.
This book was a great reminder of the power that both story and the Scripture have to shape our moral imaginations. I hope many people read this and are refreshed as I was in reading it.
Thanks to Speak Easy and Ambassador International for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.